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Steve Riley passes away

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Former L.A. GUNS And W.A.S.P. Drummer STEVE RILEY Dead At 67

October 27, 2023


Former L.A. GUNS and W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley has died at the age of 67.

The news of Riley's death was first reported by Metal Sludge and was confirmed by his longtime friend Jason Green, who shared a new video on his Waste Some Time With Jason Green YouTube channel in which he said that Green had suffered from various health issues prior to his passing.


A source close to Riley told Metal Sludge that the drummer died yesterday (Thursday, October 26) after he had been recently hospitalized. He had also been using a cane to walk in recent months.

Riley was the drummer for W.A.S.P. on the first four albums and world tours from 1983 to 1987. After leaving W.A.S.P. in 1987, Riley joined L.A. GUNS and played on the band's most commercially successful albums.

In a 2011 blog for Modern Drummer, Riley wrote: "I've been blessed to be involved in both waves of hard rock and metal in 1980s Los Angeles. The first of the two was the MÖTLEY CRÜE, RATT, W.A.S.P. and DOKKEN movement. Then came the GUNS N' ROSES, L.A. GUNS and FASTER PUSSYCAT bunch. I'm one of those rare drummers that played in two successful bands from both waves. Pretty cool stuff!"

Three years ago, Massachusetts native Riley told Antihero Magazine about his early years on the Sunset Strip rock scene: "I've said it in many interviews, W.A.S.P., RATT, MÖTLEY CRÜE, DOKKEN, GREAT WHITE, that first wave of metal out of Los Angeles, we were working so much, we were on the road all of us so much that we never really even noticed what was happening in Los Angeles because we'd only be back for a few weeks or a few days actually sometimes, and then back out on the road or back into the studio. So we didn't notice the second wave of metal coming out of L.A. with GUNS N' ROSES, L.A. GUNS, FASTER PUSSYCAT and JETBOY, we didn't see that happening. So when Blackie [Lawless], then behaved by firing Randy Piper, then he fired me and then eventually fired Chris [Holmes]. He disbanded that great band. But when that happened with me in 1987, and he let me go, I was just fortunate. I was approached by these guys in L.A GUNS. They were big, big fans of W.A.S.P. I mean, huge fans, the guys in GUNS N' ROSES were too. I didn't realize that, that they were all huge fans of W.A.S.P. and they approached me, and they asked me if I wanted to join. And I kind of went right from headlining Long Beach Arena to playing a club show with L.A GUNS. So I didn't really know about the second wave of metal and I was really fortunate to go right from W.A.S.P. into L.A GUNS."

In April 2021, an out-of-court resolution was reached between Riley and L.A. GUNS guitarist Tracii Guns and vocalist Phil Lewis over the rights to the band's name. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Tracii and Phil continued to operate under the L.A. GUNS trademark, while Riley and his bandmates from the other version of L.A. GUNS carried on under the new name RILEY'S L.A. GUNS.

Last month, RILEY'S L.A. GUNS released a new single, "The Dark Horse", via Golden Robot Records. The track is taken from the band's upcoming sophomore album of the same name, tentatively due in early 2024.

RILEY'S L.A. GUNS featured Riley alongside Orlando, Florida-based guitarist/vocalist Kurt Frohlich, Nickels and guitarist Scott Griffin, who played bass for L.A. GUNS from 2007 until 2009, and then again from 2011 to 2014.

Photo courtesy of Golden Robot Records

Screenshot 2023-10-27 at 17-18-52 Former L.A. GUNS And W.A.S.P. Drummer STEVE RILEY Dead At 67.png

Edited by Captain Howdy
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A statement from the Riley family:

We are devastated to share that Steve Riley has passed away at the age of 67. Steve had been battling a severe case of pneumonia for several weeks, and on Tuesday, Oct. 24, succumbed to the illness. His wife Mary Louise and son Cole were by his side in his final moments.

Steve spent the past five decades building up a rich music legacy, touring the world countless times, selling millions of records, sharing the stage with incredible bandmates and bringing joy to fans across the globe. His style was unmatched, influenced by the greats like Buddy Rich, Ginger Baker and John Bonham, and his passion for the craft was evident until the very end. 

But Steve’s greatest legacy was his role as a loving husband and caring father. At home, he was more than just a rocker — he was a Boston sports fanatic, a World War II buff and an avid reader. As much as he loved being on the road, nothing brought him more joy than coming home to his family.

Steve is survived by his wife and son, as well as his brothers Michael and Daniel.

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  • 6 months later...

Looks like there is a huge drama around the new Rileys LA Guns album, The Dark Horse.

Apparently Golden Robot records was supposed to ship CDs and vinyl in April but they have gone dark. This was posted on the Rileys LA Guns FB page today:

What’s up everybody? I wanted to give you all an update on the Vinyl & CD for THE DARK HORSE since they were supposed to be shipping mid April. But April has come and gone with no answers from GOLDEN ROBOT RECORDS, so I can’t. We have no idea what is happening with it. We don’t know if it’s been made, being made or never coming because Golden Robot Records won’t tell us. They won’t answer my emails so we are all left in limbo. I re-did the art 3 times to fit their changing templates. So the art was done over a year ago. Believe me that was a lot of work and we (the Band) were also looking forward to seeing the finished product. But like I said, as of now we don’t know. I will try to keep you all posted if I hear anything. Very disheartening

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Seems the owner of Golden robot Mark Alexander-Erber,  has quite a dodgy history including fire arms charges, a failed hotel chain and several other failed companies plus a tattoo shop with a notorious drug kingpin as his partner, which was controversial due to the paper work being botched as the shop should never have been given planning permission.

Sounds like another company of his is going under.

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I spoke to Wildstreet singer Jayk in e-mail and he said Golden Robot was being azz's with havin' CD's ready to go I'll leave it at that, but more was said.

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There are few good eggs at Golden Robot.

When I had bitch on their Facebook page about the new, then, Gilby Clarke album. I got a private message from them asking for my address and t shirt. Sure, enough in one week in my letter box was the new Gilby and tee promoting the company. And there no money exchange.


Message them recently about the new CD, the woman asked all my details message me back. They still waiting getting approval from the Riley estate.

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For what it’s worth, here is Golden Robot’s official statement:



We have been diligently working with our manufacturers to ensure that we deliver the highest quality product to the fans, especially to commemorate Steve Riley's final piece of work.
We didn’t want to make a public statement until the release date was iron clad and today, we are thrilled to announce that the CD and special edition vinyls will be fully prepared to ship and available for sale on August 16th, 2024.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. Your support means the world to us, and we cannot wait to share this special release with you.
This is the second album Golden Robot Records has had the pleasure in releasing for Riley’s L.A. Guns, and we believe it to be their best work to date.
Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support.

'The Dark Horse' is currently available to stream/buy on all digital platforms.


Hopefully they follow through on this…

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Latest update on the bands FB:

Parley... 💀Happy to say that we have made progress regarding the release of THE DARK HORSE on Limited Edition Vinyl and CD.
Golden Robot Records has cleared up this issue and we are looking forward to the release date of August 16th. Golden Robot Records has also written us a letter explaining their position which I have posted on our Official Website. All we wanted was a little information. You all especially had a right to know. Glad we could clear this up, thanks everyone!!!
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Still kinda smells shonky to me. Why ignore the bands questions and only "go public" when the band posts about it on social media. Just be honest with the band.

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